Rory Burns has been extremely unfortunate on the tour till now. After getting run out in the first practice match, he was caught down the leg side in the first essay of this Test. In the second innings again, he was run out after getting a good start of 20 odd.
Although he failed to cash in, fellow opener Keaton Jennings compensated for the loss. Jennings finally showed why the selectors have persisted with him for such a long time. He scored an unbeaten 146-run knock to headline the innings.
England went through a familiar lean patch in the middle order. Both Moeen Ali and Joe Root were dismissed for three. The ploy of promoting Moeen to No 3 does not seem to be working for the side. However, it gives the skipper Joe Root the cushion to bat at his preferred position at number four.
First Ben Stokes, then Jos Buttler and finally Ben Foakes paired up with Jenning to take the lead beyond 450. Rangana Herath picked up two wickets in his last Test innings.
Sri Lanka survived a tricky period of seven overs without losing any wicket but it would to be very difficult for the hosts to save the match from here on. There would be a bit of swing on offer in the first half an hour and then it would be up to the English spinning trio to weave their magic. In all likelihood, the match will be over on day four.
Sri Lanka- Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dilruwan Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal, Rangana Herath
England- Keaton Jennings, Rory Burns, Moeen Ali, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Ben Foakes, Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, Jack Leach, James Anderson
Who will win? – England
Top Batsman (Runs Scored) –Dinesh Chandimal (Sri Lanka)
Top Bowler (Wickets taken) – Moeen Ali (England)
Most Fours – Niroshan Dickwella (Sri Lanka)
Team Scores Batting at the end of Day 4 – Sri Lanka 180+ all out
*NB these predictions may be changed nearer the start of the match once the final starting teams have been announced and we will be running ‘In–Play’ features soon, so stay tuned.
©Cricket World 2018